God wants us to live joyful lives. Yes, life can be difficult, but as his beloved children, God wants us to experience the joy he gives—a joy that doesn’t depend on circumstances. Jesus informs us in the passage below how God loved him, he loved us, and that we are to therefore love one another, thus becoming joyful!
“ As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. ” John 15:9-12
So what does this mean for us? It means that we, as children of our loving God, are to not only love our children, but to be joyful before them and with them!
Only in Jesus can our joy be complete, reaching its fullest measure. Paul encourages us to rejoice in the Lord at all times: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
Our families are one of God’s greatest gifts and sources of joy. Fathers, I encourage you to enjoy your children and treasure these years. As a father of four children who are now grown and raising their own families, I can tell you: This time goes by fast! Don’t wait to enjoy it tomorrow—enjoy it today! I pray you resist the temptation to become so busy in your work and so overwhelmed with the stresses and pressures of life that you fail to slow down and savor the moments at home with your family.
Take the time to laugh. Stop and smile at the things your kids say and do. Go for the walks, take the bike rides. Play with them, throwing and catching together. Watch the movies. Enjoying your family doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or even take huge amounts of time. Some of our family’s favorite memories are from simply laughing around the dinner table, playing balloon toss on the living room floor, playing hide and seek with the lights out, and throwing coins into my empty shoes—all silly activities that cost nothing except a little time and attention. And yet the rewards they brought were rich beyond measure, and left us with great memories.
There will certainly be some situations of difficulty and sadness that come into our families, but, even so, God wants us to learn to primarily rejoice, knowing that he will ultimately bring good our way:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
So, even when we go through challenges in our own lives and in raising our kids, let’s seek to be predominantly joyful, as God desires. This will be a great blessing to them, helping them to be much closer to us. It will also enable them to more deeply respect and trust us, thus making them far more willing to let us train, teach and discipline them. As we strive to do this, we can be sure that God will graciously help and bless us, just as He does in all of the vital efforts that we make as we seek to carry out His will. As we joyfully persevere in our trials, He will amazingly use them to bless our children, our wives, and us!
Enjoy the gift of your children—they are blessings from the Lord! May your heart be filled with love and your home with joy and laughter!
Come on over to our YouTube channel for more on this topic in the Sittin’ With Sam series! Shared from Sam Laing’s Warrior for the Lord.